FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England defender A.J. Soares can't quite figure out when he suffered a sprained right knee during last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at San Jose, but he has a pretty good idea who inflicted the damage.
“I took a little knock,” Soares told MLSsoccer.com. “It's just part of the game. It's just part of playing [Steven] Lenhart. He's a physical dude.”
The rough and tumble battle between the earnest Earthquakes forward and the Revolution back four provided one of the more intriguing subplots to the season opener. Lenhart pestered the Revs for much of the first half, but he struggled to make the same impact in the second half after picking up a booking five minutes before the break and eventually tromped off after 69 minutes.
Although Lenhart may have grazed Soares along the way and forced his withdrawal after 60 minutes, Soares said he wouldn't hold it against an opponent he respects.
“I can't even tell you,” Soares said. “We were tangled up all game. At some point, I just felt a little knock. It's fun against Lenhart. He's a really physical guy. He really has a unique game. He's a guy that you'd love to have on your team.”
Lozano adds to Revs' health woes
While Soares made way for Tyler Polak with a half an hour to play and looks set to feature against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night (8:30 pm ET; MLS Live), fellow defender John Lozano may find himself ruled out after surviving the 90 minutes at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Lozano (pictured above) sustained a right hip flexor strain during the contest and missed out on the Revolution's training session on Wednesday afternoon.
“We're getting him looked at,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “He pulled up during the game. He played strong, but, after the game, he said he had a little tightness. We're being precautionary with him and making sure he is getting enough time to heal it.”
If Lozano isn't fit enough to feature, then he will join fellow defender Darrius Barnes on the sidelines. Barnes sustained a left calf strain in a non-contact situation during a training session in San Jose last Friday and missed the date with the Earthquakes. Heaps said Barnes will miss at least the next two games as he recovers from the injury.
“Darrius being hurt out there, that was a surprise,” Heaps said. “We didn't realize the extent of it. That always humbles you because he's kind of our utility guy. When your utility guy isn't there, you're making a couple of sideways changes as opposed to vertical changes.”
Moreno set to arrive next week
One of those vertical changes could take place up front over the next couple of weeks as José Moreno settles into his new surroundings. Moreno is expected to finally land in Boston on Monday to link up with his new teammates.
Although Heaps is eager to include the 30-year-old in the squad, he said he plans to give him some time to settle in before throwing him into first-team contention.
“We want to get him here and get him training for a week before we get him on the field,” Heaps said. “He has to acclimate with the guys and get to know some of the players before we just throw him out there.”